12th May 2018.
CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION IN THE BRAVE NEW WORLD AND IN OUR WORLD THROUGH THE RISE OF BLACK FRIDAY AND BOXING DAY.
The Black Friday is known to be the day after Thanksgiving and officially begins the holiday shopping season in North America. During the season, people tend to obtain the greatest sales and bargains of the year. On the other hand, Boxing day is known to be observed after Christmas day. Equally, it is known for its big sales that induce the people to wait long hours outside the stores. Likewise, these two primary events contribute substantially to the government revenue each year. The emphasis of conspicuous consumption in the world state is similar to the North American society, with regard to anticipated occasions like the Black Friday and Boxing day that unknowingly provoke individuals to spend lavishly at the sight of these large sale days. In the novel, titled the Brave new world, the author tells us that ” Every man, woman and child compelled to consume so much a year.” (Huxley 49). In fact, it is true that we can all in one way classify ourselves as consumers. The people in the world state are taught to consume from decantation stage and just like North Americans, we originally uncovered consumption from an early stage as well. Similarly, in relation to the Black Friday event, which has been exposed to the North American people since the 1950s, we have naturally accepted it to be a tradition to consume products that have been attached with these ” time-limited deals that are difficult to replicate.” (“Retail world,” 2017). In the novel, Huxley also tells us that ” Old clothes are beastly, we always throw away old clothes.” ( Huxley 49). The people in the world state were imposed by the government to take interest only in new things, and attached less importance to holding on to old things. They made the people accept this as a way of life from the time they were produced, leaving them with no choice or alternative. However, as the people grow, they succumb voluntarily to the already made rule, and this goes a long way to ensuring stability for the world state. In like manner, the world we live in today, makes us take delight in having more of new things than old things, in such early times of our lives, through organizing occasions like Black Friday and Boxing day. The retailers of these products fixed low price tags to these products, making them very alluring. Not to mention, they have also given us the impression that to stay in a trend, we must be willing to buy new commodities deliberately, as the old ones are not essential anymore, if they are new ones. In addition, in the Brave new world, the government has cultivated in its citizens from birth to hate books or any other access to knowledge that would corrupt their minds, and question the world that they live in. The children are taught that ” You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books.”(Huxley 60). So, we can see that the government has imbibed in the children, the habit of spending and making them believe it is the only means of happiness. Identically, there is a striking resemblance to the real world. Today, people are distracted by such big sales days like Black Friday and Boxing day, that they are unable to educate themselves on vital topics like consumerism, and the negative effects on them. People no longer spend the time to find out information before buying a product, they are only concerned about the prices, and the fact that it will satisfy their immediate wants and desires. In the novel, the Director says that it is ” strange to think that even our Ford’s day most games were played without apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of nothing. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatsoever to increase consumption. It’s madness. Nowadays the controllers won’t approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games.” (Huxley 31). The people of the world state, are conditioned to love sports, as well as games a lot. However, the government used this to their advantage by ensuring the people take part in playing the existing games, which require a lot of facilities that they are mandated to pay for by all means. Also, in the world state ” sports with minimal apparatus such as soccer have been eliminated in their society to increase the consumption of manufactured goods. The state conditions the people to use more goods in their daily life, which leads to more consumption.” ( Za, 2016 ). Likewise, in the world today, the government made use of the Black Friday event to trigger the fear of scarcity, that drives people to buy products without even thinking. These days it seems as if people are obliged to purchase commodities in large amounts extravagantly, which contributes massively to ensuring the proper development of the economy. Furthermore, in the novel, the writer also tells us that ” we condition the masses to hate the country, but simultaneously we condition them to love the country sports. At the same time, we see to it that all the country sports shall entail the use of elaborate apparatus. So that they consume manufactured articles as well as the transport.” ( Huxley 23 ). Also, in the world state the people are conditioned to have a lot of interest for country sports, causing them to constantly pay in large amounts to make use of the transport facilities provided by the government to attend such events. It also serves as a means of getting money to ensure the continuous development of the community by the government. They are denied the chance to appreciate nature and its gifts, as well as attending such sporting events without having to consume anything. In relation to the present world, ” people truly want to get a good deal, and so they might be less rational… when they can look in the environment and find different cues that make them think they are getting a good deal.” ( Manning, 2010). On the other hand this causes them to be at a greater loss, as they rush to meet up with such big sales events like the Black Friday and Boxing day, they tend to lose a lot of money paying for the transportation fee that will enable them get there on time. At the end of the day, they might have caught up with the best deals, but they lose a lot of money spending foolishly at the sound of sales. Likewise, it goes a long way in providing enough resources to keep the society stable. Additionally, the author of the Brave new world, Aldous Huxley writes “Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; the more stitches…..” ( Huxley 51). In the world state, the people are taught through hypnopaedia, to throw away their old clothes when torn, instead of trying to mend them. Basically, what the people were made to believe that ” the more you repair, the less you will buy, resulting in less money for the economic system, less routine for everybody and last but not least a higher risk of failing for the Brave new world which has the motto community, stability and community.” (Za, 2016). So, the main aim of this rule is to ensure consumption by the people, that will help generate more revenue for government. Also, in relation to the current world, this can be seen through the use of ” propaganda and advertisement to bomb and pressure the population into buying certain things, even though it might not be to the consumers’ benefit.”.(” Brave New World” vs Today’s society, 2017). For example; advertisements concerning the Black Friday and Boxing day sales. Furthermore, in the Brave new world, the children in the nurseries are sleep taught through the sayings ” I do love flying, I do love flying, I do love having new clothes…” (Huxley 33 ). This is done to ensure that the people remain eager to always consume anything that comes their way, therefore ensuring the economic stability of the state. Similarly, this is done so that they would be more than enough resources to provide numerous jobs for the people, to ensure everybody participates in contributing for economic development. In addition, in the world we live in today, through different forms of media such as, television, radio, the internet e.t.c that tell us about events such as Black Friday and Boxing day, we are unknowingly brainwashed into buying the things we may not really need at all. In conclusion, we can identify conspicuous consumption in both the Brave new world and the world of today. The writer of the Brave new world, tries to make us aware of consumerism, which has become a major economic problem in our world today. The rise of such eye-catching events like Black Friday and Boxing day, has only made us poorer, allowing the government to easily exploit us of our resources. Likewise, this of more harm than good to us individuals, because it turns out to be that the government has total control over how we live our lives. In the end, the so-called? ” stability” that the government hopes to achieve is at the cost of peoples’ resources.
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